There are three main categories of approvals that can be granted:

Water supply work approvals

  • to construct and use a water supply work (e.g. to install and operate a pump, dam or bore).

Find out more about water supply work approvals.

Water use approvals

  • to use water for a particular purpose, such as irrigation.

Find out more about water use approvals.

Controlled activity approvals

  • for certain types of developments and activities carried out in or near a river, lake or estuary.

Find out more about controlled activity approvals.

Under the Water Management Act 2000, water access licences entitle a licence holder to a share of the water in a water source that can be sustainably extracted. These licences are held and traded independently from land and are issued separately to approvals.

NSW Water Register – information about approvals

You can search the online NSW Water Register for information about water supply work approvals and and water use approvals. Information includes:

  • the approval ID number
  • the kind of approval
  • the date granted and expiry date
  • the description of the authorised activity
  • the water source
  • the location of the work, use or activity
  • the conditions of the approval.

The NSW Water Register also provides a record of applications for approvals. Details include:

  • the application ID number
  • the date the application was received by the Department
  • the water source to which it relates
  • the category of approval the applicant is seeking and type of work
  • the status of the application.

You can search for information about approvals on the NSW Water Register online or at one of our offices. There is no charge to search for information on this register.

The NSW Water Register does not include information about controlled activity approvals.

The information is provided consistent with the requirements of section 57 of the Privacy and Personal Information Act 1998.